Video of the Day, On The Evolution of Tricorders edition.

TL;DR: We’re not there yet, but we’re working on it. Oh, and don’t use WebMD for diagnosis.  You’ll just be told that you’re dying of cancer, or something.

I’m struck, though: thirty years ago, if you had asked me what was going to be the future of wristcomps or perscomps or whatever the science fiction neologism was that week, I would have started talking about wristwatch computers that could project out holographic images for people to look at. Or maybe big boxes with handheld detachable or semi-detachable sensors, or maybe even implanted circuitry.  I mean, it was going to be 2018! What couldn’t we have in 2018?

I would not have guessed, though, that in 2018 we’d all be walking around with items that gave us access to virtually all of human history, knowledge, and culture*.  Three-quarters of the adult population of the United States owns one of these magical informational portals; or, as we call them, ‘smartphones.’ And before you say that they mostly look at cat videos on them**, this is true; but they also know that they have access to maps, mail, social media, and video instructions on how to do everything from finish that last level to how to change that tire. Oh, and phone calls. The point is that while we’re not yet there with regard to tricorders, when we do get there it’ll happen almost overnight.  This stuff tends to shift rapidly.

Which is cool.

Moe Lane

*And porn.  Ever so much porn. All the porn, it seems.  Notice how you never heard anything about that in the old Star Trek? …Wait, which one is the ‘old’ Star Trek at this point?

**And porn.  I’m not so much harping on it as I know that everybody who reads this will go You forgot about the porn, Moe if I don’t concede the point at every opportunity.


  • 1_rick says:

    You notice how Star Trek missed the boat in a couple of aesthetic ways? Every single thing in ST is covered with blinkenlights. Most of the things have huge buttons and tiny screens, too. Last year I watched a bunch of Enterprise and Voyager, and I’m slowly going through DS9 now. They had PADDs that were like tablets, but were 3 or 4 times as thick, with screens that were deeply recessed and only covered about 1/4 of the surface area.

    Oh, and the dozen flashing red and green LEDs. Gadzooks. Discovery hasn’t gotten over that, either. At one point Michael has to plant–let’s call it a bomb, but it’s not–on a ship, and not only does it have bright flashing lights, but it also talks. Loudly. While she’s trying to hide behind consoles. On the bridge. That’s just dumb.

    • Aetius451AD says:

      I am sorry, am I the only guy left who loves a toggle switch? You could get me to buy pretty much any car if it had toggle switches.

      • Spegen says:

        Toggles? You should look at a MINI.

      • acat says:

        I rather like toggle switches .. the problem is having enough of them to be useful without having so many as to be *cluttered* .. Dr. Who “solved” this by including a wild variety of controls to actuate…
        I *really* didn’t like 1980s ubiquitous plastic-squishy-button technology, and am pleased it has more or less died out.
        I find touchscreens tolerable but not optimal because they accumulate fingerprints quick…

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